Dear Diary—ACCC Makes Telstra Keep Tabs On Itself

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has made a record keeping rule which requires Telstra to keep and retain records and give reports to the ACCC relating to broadband access to Telstra exchange facilities.

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According to the ACCC, a large number of access seekers have complained that Telstra is refusing to provide access to exchanges on the grounds that there is insufficient space. 

In addition, says the corporate watchdog, access seekers have complained that “lengthy delays associated with Telstra’s queuing system are preventing them installing equipment in exchanges to provide ADSL2+ services to consumers, in competition with Telstra”.

“The ACCC believes that there is a strong need for independent oversight of Telstra’s processes to cap exchanges to ensure that Telstra is held accountable and access seekers are not unreasonably denied access to Telstra exchanges. There is also a clear need to identify the exact cause of delays with Telstra’s queuing system,” ACCC Chairman, Graeme Samuel, said today.

“The record keeping rule will assist the ACCC in carrying out its statutory functions under the access regime in the Trade Practices Act and provide confidence to access seekers investing in competitive DSLAM infrastructure about the accuracy of Telstra’s processes”, he added.

The record keeping rule requires Telstra to give monthly reports to the ACCC that contain information which includes details of Telstra decisions to cap and uncap exchanges and the amount of space in an exchange reserved by Telstra for its own anticipated future requirements.

This new rule also requires Telstra to report on the details of queued access seekers, their position in the queue, and any progress in the queue.

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